Who Said That White Privileges Were Only Beneficial for White People?

by elodiegerard on October 21, 2016 - 9:50pm

In this assignment I will be talking about white privileges and its power because it is a subject that really concerns me so I found an article that explains the concept and its advantage/consequences. To begin with, I am a woman who is always bothered by inequality and I am frustrated to know that because of my gender, I have less chances to get a prestigious job or to get a promotion. That being said, seeing other minorities get discriminated because of white privileges really affects me.

The article that I found is called “White People vs. White Privilege” and it talks about how it is hard to stop discrimination because only those who are at a disadvantage are fighting for it. (Wagner, 2016) The author is explaining the importance that white people get involve in the equality for minorities because it is more effective when a white citizen talks to another white citizen. (Wagner, 2016.) She is also saying that white Americans know that they have power in politics, in the media and in their community so they should use their white privileges to make some changes. (Wagner, 2016) However, there is a problem with white privileges, because like the author Peggy McIntosh said in her text “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, white people are not thought to recognize their privileges so it becomes difficult to expect them to use their power in order to make some changes in the society. (McIntosh, pp. 65, 2016.) Wagner uses an allusion to prove that white people do not take advantage of their power, she says that it is like if Superman decided to live his life as Clark Kent when he could be saving the world. (Wagner, 2016) Both authors are strongly suggesting that white people have to start seeing their privileges and stop ignoring them.  

I agree with Wagner’s point of view because the more we talk about white privileges and stop ignoring them, the more the younger generations will be part of the movement for equality and this term had more chances to get abolished with time. Before reading this article I did not realize how it was possible to use white privileges as a lever to make positives and important impacts. Moreover, there was an increase in white people supporting minorities since the beginning of the US presidential elections with Donald Trump. The reason for that is because minorities are being targeted by him but white people are scared to have him has a leader so they are putting themselves together in order to avoid Trump’s election as a president. (Wagner, 2016)

In order to achieve something like that, white people have to start realizing that they are benefiting of many privileges in their daily life. However, many are not able to see it so I will help you figure it out by asking you this question: Would you have been able to get out of that speeding ticket if your skin was not white?



The discussion on white people privileges is very interesting. Privileges can be based on race like is exposed in the article, but also can be related to gender, sexual orientation, religion class and many other aspects that differentiate an individual from other. When individuals lack this privileges they suffer discrimination or oppression from “the superior groups”. The overlap of these different systems of inequality such as racism, sexism, homophobia and other is call intersectionality. In gender class we learn that the intersection of different types of discrimination only helps one to reinforce the other, and it can be very oppressive to visible minorities in our society. For example, if we analyze the intersection between race and gender can be noticed that although women are more discriminated than men; black women suffer a more severe type of discrimination. If we add sexual orientation to the equation, we see that if the black woman is also lesbian she will be in a more disadvantage position. Intersectionality proves that every individual suffer their own king of discrimination. Also shows that visible minorities cannot be include in one big group because the peculiarities of different individuals in the group would made them suffer different kinds of oppression. Race, sex, gender, and many other characteristics of the human body and of our personality are not choose by the individual; instead they are given by nature. Discriminating and oppressing someone for been different when they cannot control it is not ethical. Society needs to learn respect and acceptance of every individual.


Your title got me interested in this post since you posed it as a question. However, I am slightly confused about who is being benefited besides white people as your title entails. Aside from that I thought you made an excellent point when stating the importance of white involvement. Since white people are benefited by white privilege, they are less inclined to do something about it. However, since the US has a disproportionate ratio of whites to other races it is impossible for minorities to overcome this on their own. Since I live in a predominately white town with very few minorities, the topic of racism is almost taboo in a way. When it is brought up for discussion in my experience, many people become uncomfortable. This discomfort surrounding the topic of white privilege needs to be removed in order for progress to be made. It is important that white people see this injustice and decide to do something about it in order for change to occur.

I was drawn to this post mainly because I would have never thought that white privilege could not only benefit white people, but minorities as well. My overall reaction to this post is a positive one; I agree with the authors point of view on the urgency to get white people involved with equality for minorities because it's more effective coming from a white person to another white person. It would be amazing for white people to use their privileges to make a greater change on equality for all. I personally never witnessed in real life white privilege, but I know for a fact it's real and out there in the world, everyone who's a minority is familiar with it. I also know a couple of friends and family who have witnessed it. I expect now that as a freshmen in college I will begin to witness and experience situations related to this topic now that I am becoming a part of the real world; back in my home town, you don't see as often on an everyday basis unless it has to do with the law.

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